Weather permitting we will have a full compliment of racing from Haydock and Ascot tomorrow, and possible Wincanton. At the moment I have an interest in 3 races as follows…
Across The Bay 14/1 – 1pt win
Emperor’s Choice 10/1 -1pt win
On the face of it this looks like a usual competitive long distance chase. Known as a Grand National Trial the race historically is not the greatest guide to the main event. With the amount of rain around, and going officially described as heavy this is going to be an extreme test. The two that best fit the main trends, and who both make the shortlist from a profile angle are Across The Bay and Emperor’s Choice. Dour stayers who relish the mud they both have lots in their favor and I will be extremely disappointed if they are not in there pitching. Expect them both to be staying on and to come late, to hopefully pull away near the end. McCain’ horses are not in the best of form at the moment but 14/1 is a fair price and hopefully he can buck the trend – distance should be fine, ground is fine and he really likes the course. His large weight should not be a problem as he has proven he can cope with it LTO. Emperor’s choice won last time, and I thought he would go close but felt I had missed the price. VW has had 13 runners in this race and while she hasnt had a winner, she has had 3 placed finishes. We know she can train long distance winners, and that she is in red hot form. He should go close. The rest for me have something to prove and it will be an interesting race. If one of the others win they will be breaking some very strong trends, so we shall see.
Extreme Impact 14/1 1/2 pt EW
I do like these long distance hurdle races. Yes this is a pertemps final qualifier for Cheltenham so you are trying to second guess trainers in a way. However, for me Extreme Impact looks like he will run a good race. He won after an absence last time out, to the surprise of connections who thought he may need the run. He stays all day and all his best form is on heavy. The majority of the others have something to prove, and while there are a few unexposed young horses in the line up, they need to prove their suitability for a 3 mile slog in heavy ground. We know this horse will relish conditions over the same CD that he won over last time. For me 14/1 EW is too big.
Captain Chris 11/10 4 pts win
Well rarely do a venture too far from 1 or 2pt level stakes but on this occasion I cannot resist. Quite simply I cannot see how he cannot win. Of level weights he has the proven class at the track and on the ground and over the distance.He enjoys going right handed and I just cannot see him getting beaten. As such, a shade over evens is a good price for me. Riverside Theatre is his main danger but he prefers a sounder surface and he meets CC on worse terms than when just beating him earlier in the season (when we backed RT to win). CC needed the run on that occasion and I expect him to comprehensive turn the tables. He should be odds on in my opinion and with no Cue Card around on this occasion he can add another prize to his impressive CV for popular connections.
Good luck whatever you back and hopefully we can have a good day.